The Justice Department is taking the first steps toward what could be another criminal prosecution of a former Florida college professor and prominent Palestinian Arab activist, Sami Al-Arian. One of Al-Arian's attorneys, Jonathan Turley, said a hearing was held in federal court yesterday in Alexandria, Va., after prosecutors summoned Al-Arian before a grand jury there.
Al-Arian has already spent more than a year in civil contempt after refusing to appear before two grand juries investigating Islamic charities in Northern Virginia. The latest move comes just weeks before Al-Arian's criminal sentence was to run out, triggering his deportation.
"We had been hoping that the government would consider a year of imprisonment sufficient," Mr. Turley said. "It's clear that the government is not satisfied and plans to seek additional imprisonment."